Muhammad in South Park (1997-present): an analysis of satirical exposition of religion and ethnicity in contemporary animation

Watson, Nicholas R. (2011) Muhammad in South Park (1997-present): an analysis of satirical exposition of religion and ethnicity in contemporary animation. BA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Abstract

    The title of the dissertation is “Muhammad in South Park: an analysis of satirical exposition of religion and ethnicity in contemporary animation”. It brings together aspects of political discourse, religion, animation, media studies and sociology to discuss how different religions and cultures react to the depictions of religious figures in contemporary animation.

    It will examine the historical implications of religious portrayals, leading up to the offensive cartoons of Muhammad published in Jyallnds-Posten, and culminating in the recent controversies surrounding South Park and the programs desire to provide their own illustration of the Muslim prophet in an attempt to form their argument for the right to free speech. The controversy has sparked much discussion amongst Eastern and Western academics and this dissertation will evaluate the arguments put forward from differing points of view to come up with my own rationale.

    An in-depth analysis of the media’s coverage of the Danish cartoons and the controversies surrounding South Park will be performed to gain an understanding of any potential political allegiances withholding oppositional opinions or covering the stories in a way which favours a particular standpoint. Furthermore, I will observe the way in which the news reports issues surrounding Middle Eastern culture since 9/11, and how the terrorist attacks may have changed how stories pertaining to Islam are reported.

    Western portrayals of the Muslim prophet Muhammad will be the main theme of the dissertation, as the issue of human interpretations of Muhammad is sensitive amongst Muslims, as it is condemned by their religion to do so. Such portrayals will be related to religious and ethnic stereotypes that are present in Western society, taking into account Orientalism and perceived notions of Islamophobia apparent in Western media.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries > School of Media and Performing Arts
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 16 Mar 2012 09:53
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 11:57
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/6903

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